NYPD testing crime-forecast software

The New York Police Department is embarking on a new experiment with “predictive policing” software that uses neighborhood-specific data like weather, time of year, school calendars and past criminal activity to create statistical models that forecast where and when certain crimes are likely to occur.


The software, called “Hunchlab,” was developed by Philadelphia-based company Azavea, and will be used in a pilot project by as many as three police precincts across the city, for a period of two years, an NYPD spokeswoman confirmed.


The Miami Police Department is also testing out Hunchlab, with help from a $600,000 federal grant, the Miami Herald reported in April this year.


The software, which is already being used in Philadelphia, New Castle, Del. and Lincoln, Neb., models crime forecasts based on “temporal patterns (time of day, day of week, day of month, seasonality); weather; environmental risk factors (locations of bars, bus stops, etc.); socioeconomic indicators; historic crime levels; and near-repeat patterns to help police departments understand and respond more effectively to crime using the resources available to them,” an NYPD spokeswoman said in an email to Capital.


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